Smokefree Square plan backed
A straw poll has found support for a plan to make The Square in Palmerston North smokefree.
Smoking is already restricted in Palmerston North City Council-owned playgrounds and sports fields. Advocates at this week's community wellbeing committee meeting urged councillors to extend its smoking restrictions to its most prominent green-space too.
The proposal was put forward by Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell, who supported smoking restrictions in The Square for health reasons.
The Manawatu Standard asked users of The Square at lunchtime yesterday what they thought.
Paula, a courier driver, was trying to give up her habit.
"I'm almost quite hypocritical, really, because I am a smoker. But it would be nice to see certain areas [smokefree] - especially for kids. I think trying to take it to all areas is a little bit over-dramatic. Sports grounds these days are smokefree . . . within The Square, I don't think it's a bad idea at all."
Alistair Beveridge, a consultant, agreed: "I think [restrictions are] a good idea, I think it's primarily a family space . . . it's not a particularly good look for young kids."
Retiree Sue Hodgson said she was disgusted by second-hand smoke. "I don't like the smell of it. I don't want to breathe anybody's smoke anywhere," she said. "I can smell it right now. I'm quite happy if they want to ban it."
Nicky, an office worker who did not want her surname published, said smokers would take their habits elsewhere - possibly to more confined spaces.
"I don't think it's that good because if I can't smoke in The Square then I'll just smoke along the street, and I hate smoking when I'm walking past people . . . I hate other people doing it when there's kids around - it's just gross."
Hamish and Losa Leameivaka, both students, were in favour of a curb on smoking in The Square for health reasons, adding the presence of discarded cigarette butts was a bad look.
Andrew Murphy, a software developer, said he had no problem with the ban, citing costs to the community and health effects.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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